Saturday, May 20, 2023

A rehash of my emails to APM Reports and Emily Hanford


I wrote to APM reports on their article 'How American schools fail kids with dyslexia’ dated 11.9.2017.

 Their website says,

APM Reports strives to raise awareness, trigger debate and prompt positive change via non-partisan, independent investigative and documentary journalism.

The following is my email to APM Reports dated 11.9.2017

Dear Sir,

I read your article 'How American schools fail kids with dyslexia dated 11.9.2017 with great interest.

I have been teaching so called 'dyslexic' kids for more than 13 years and I am convinced that illiteracy levels can be reduced drastically if kids are taught properly.

In chapter one of ‘Equipped for Reading Success’ by Dr.David Kilpatrick it is said:

i.                                 In a large study conducted by scientists from the State University of New York at Albany, researchers were able to reduce the number of children who require ongoing remediation from the national average of 30% down to about 2%.

ii.                               A study by researchers at Florida State University showed how the most severely reading disabled students could reach grade level- and stay there- using a surprisingly brief intervention programme.

The above two examples question the inevitability of widespread reading failure.

Please ask yourself as to how kids who could not read could be brought to grade level and made to stay at grade level with a little intervention.

Ask yourself as to why these kids were put into intervention classes in the first place.

Why are studies like the above and my research on this matter over 13 years not being accepted by the American public?

Please respond for a discussion on how to alleviate the illiteracy level around the world.

Thank you and kind regards,

Luqman Michel


This is her reply on 15.9.2017


Thanks for writing.

Yes, you raise many relevant and important points. Unfortunately, there are no satisfying answers as to why the research is being ignored. The documentary seeks to provide some explanations and history, and to point out how important it is that schools start paying attention to the research.

Have you heard the full hour long radio documentary?

I then wrote another email to Emily after listening to the radio documentary.

Here is an extract of the relevant parts of the email on 16.9.2017.

2. I don't agree with there being 10 to 20% of kids who are dyslexic. This is a fallacy. Any and every kid who can't read is lumped under the umbrella term 'dyslexia'. I have also been writing about this for many years and hopefully some universities will take this up for study.

A majority of the kids classified as dyslexic are in fact shut-down or disengaged kids.

They shut-down or disengage because they have been taught wrongly. About 20% of kids around the world shut-down when they are confused. These are the kids who like to be taught explicitly. When what is taught does not match with what they already know or have been taught they disengage from learning to read.

She responded on 17.9.2017 as follows:

Hanford, Emily

I will take a look.



And that was the end until 2019…

To be continued…

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